I got married when I was 17. It was an arranged marriage, by Krsna, to start my spiritual life. I am of Canadian decent, whatever that means. We’re a hodge-podge of many cultures, but arranged marriages are not customary. Somehow, I sat down beside my to be husband in an art class in high school, and as he had broken his leg and was on crutches, ended up holding doors open for him. An opening for him to start a relationship.
We got married 9 months later, rather suddenly, but not completely unplanned. We were committed to spend our lives together and somehow find a meaningful path. My father just didn’t agree that planning to live together unmarried was the best way to do that. So we got married- 3 days after that fateful conversation with my father. Krsna is in everyone’s heart, including my father’s. He was so right! We soon found our spiritual path, and were both initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1973. We served together for many years as pujaris, then I also included teaching, and administration in my services. In 1996 we moved to Saranagati Dhama in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada looking for a stable community to raise our 3 children. Sadly there were too many divorces in the community, which always had complicated ramifications. We could see that in order to have strong communities, committed healthy couples were needed to raise emotionally stable, happy children. So we took training in marital education and joined forces with other devotees in North America interested in helping couples. Thus the Grihastha Vision Team was formed.
Partha, my kind, caring, supportive husband for over 4 decades now, and myself facilitate many devotees in premarital education, both by Skype and in person. We were instrumental in encouraging the support policy that every devotee in Canada has premarital education before marriage. We also travel extensively to offer GVT seminars and train mentor couples. We have also taught in the US, South Africa, Ireland, England, Guyana, Trinidad, Brazil, Russia and India.
We have 3 children, 5 grandchildren, and a wonderful extended family. Due to the mercy of Krsna, Srila Prabhupada’s family of devotees has been so nurturing. Please allow us to repay the debt and help in any way we can.
Yours in service,
Uttama devi dasi